I haven’t declared my New Year’s resolution this year because, for me, this practice has become redolent with the stink of failure. I look back on the resolutions I’ve made these past five years and I haven’t successfully achieved any of them.
Here are some things I do NOT do every day:
- 200 pushups and drink 10 glasses of water
- call my dad
- converse in Spanish
- write 750 words
- run for 30 minutes
I know, I’m a pretty horrible person. But, I’ve been using an app called Calm to practice mindfulness (an unsuccessful resolution from 2018, I’m still tryin’, don’t ask :-). In a recent session, the difference between a resolution and an intention was discussed. Both terms are noun forms of powerful verbs, “resolve” and “intend“.
To “resolve” is to “decide firmly on a course of action”
To “intend” is to “have (a course of action) as one’s purpose or objective.”
There’s a difference.
Countless people are posting their New Year’s resolutions in the form of a “one-word focus” for 2020. In fact, the hashtag #OneWord2020 has been trending since December 31. But what happens when we make a resolution and we break it: We resolve to diet, but we eat that second piece of cake; we resolve to workout every day but we miss Monday morning because it was a long weekend. What does that do to our resolution? We’ve failed. Intentions, on the other hand, are just that, directions we intend to travel in, things we intend to do. If we slip up, our intentions remain the same, we’re still moving in the same direction. One might say this is simply a matter of semantics, but words matter right? It’s a clarification that works for me because when I think of past resolutions, my previous one words, they seem rife with failure. Although I realize the importance of embracing failure, to break resolutions year after year, it’s dispiriting.
Hence, my intention for 2020 – my one word – is: POSITIVE. I will strive to be more positive. Jon Gordon, author of The Positive Dog, states that being positive not only makes you better, but it also makes everyone around you better. This is an outcome I can surely embrace. Gordon offers an 11-day positivity Action Plan. Here are several of his suggestions: turn off negative news and identify things for which you’re grateful; be a coach to somebody who needs it; don’t participate in gossip, and turn complaints into solutions. I’m going to try all of these (not on the same day). Hopefully, I’ll occupy a more positive world. And if I slip up, that’s OK, positivity will remain my intention. I will keep you posted in this space on how I’m doing with my INTENTION for 2020.